by William Biagini
Columbia University’s School of Nursing certificate program in “Transgender Non-Binary Health Care for Advanced Practice Nurses and PAs” is launching for the fall 2022 semester.
Students will learn “pubertal suppression, hormone therapy, gender affirming surgical care, sexual health and fertility, as well as writing letters of support, and care planning for surgery,” according to the university website.
On Mar. 29 of last year, the university released a statement explaining that the program intends to educate nurse practitioners and physician assistants to treat nonbinary and transgender patients.
“Access to affirming health care can be a matter of life and death. Transgender people are at increased risk of suicide, while gender-affirming treatment sharply reduces this risk,” a follow-up March 2022 announcement states.
Accordingly, nurse practitioners and physician assistants will be trained to “manage hormonal interventions for transgender patients and monitor side effects.”
The Transgender Non-Binary Health Care CPA Program will be directed by Associate Professor of Nursing at CUMC Laura Kelly.
Certain health procedures for transgender patients are not without controversy.
In 2015, Dr. Paul McHugh, Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School, wrote that “gender dysphoria…belongs in the family of similarly disordered assumptions about the body, such as anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphic disorder.”
“Its treatment should not be directed at the body as with surgery and hormones any more than one treats obesity-fearing anorexic patients with liposuction,” McHugh continued. “The treatment should strive to correct the false, problematic nature of the assumption and to resolve the psychosocial conflicts provoking it. With youngsters, this is best done in family therapy.”
Similarly, Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow Ryan T. Anderson argued in 2018 that “the medical evidence suggests that sex reassignment does not adequately address the psychosocial difficulties faced by people who identify as transgender.”
“Ten to 15 years after surgical reassignment, the suicide rate of those who had undergone sex-reassignment surgery rose to 20 times that of comparable peers,” Anderson wrote.
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William Biagini is a first-year student at Florida State University. Pursuing a major in history, he plans on both attending law school and starting his own news publication.
Photo “Columbia Nursing Students” by Columbia University School of Nursing.